Bitcoin defies bubble fears and smashes $12 000, hitting a new record

Bitcoin smashed through the $12,000 barrier for the first time Wednesday, extending the virtual currency’s stratospheric rise to new records as it gears up to take its place on mainstream markets.

The controversial cryptocurrency, which has been used to buy everything from a pizza to manicures, touched a new high of $12 590 in Asian trade before dipping back to $12 567, according to Bloomberg News.

READ MORE: The dark side of bitcoin

Bitcoin — which came into being in 2009 as a bit of encrypted software and has no central bank backing it — has risen from a 2017 low of $752 in mid-January, and has surged dramatically in the past month.

Observers say the increase is due to growing interest from Wall Street, with plans for mainstream markets to offer trading in the currency’s futures despite concerns from some in the financial industry about its volatility.

US regulators last week cleared the way for Bitcoin futures to trade on major exchanges, including the world’s biggest futures centre the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), in news welcomed by analysts.

READ MORE: Bulls shrug off bitcoin bubble

“The fact that CME, the biggest kid on the block, is moving early into cryptocurrency, will force other major exchanges to follow suit in the fear of not missing out,” Shane Chanel, from Sydney-based ASR Wealth Advisers, said in a note this week.

Transactions happen when heavily encrypted codes are passed across a computer network.

Bitcoin and other virtual currencies use blockchain, which records transactions that are updated in real time on an online ledger and maintained by a network of computers.

© Agence France-Presse

PW Botha wagged his finger and banned us in 1988 but we stood firm. We built a reputation for fearless journalism, then, and now. Through these last 35 years, the Mail & Guardian has always been on the right side of history.

These days, we are on the trail of the merry band of corporates and politicians robbing South Africa of its own potential.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Agence France Presse
Agence France Presse works from worldwide. AFP Photo's official Twitter account. Tweeting news and features from Agence France-Presse's global photo network Agence France Presse has over 120540 followers on Twitter.
Advertisting

LIVESTREAM: Ramaphosa addresses a locked down nation

President Cyril Ramaphosa is scheduled to address the nation on the measures currently being undertaken to contain the coronavirus pandemic

The rule of law in times of crisis: Covid-19 and...

Under a state of national disaster, some rights may be suspended. But it is critical to remember that the Constitution itself is not suspended

Test backlog skews SA’s corona stats

With thousands of samples still waiting to be processed, labs are racing to ramp up testing to help the government gain a better idea of how prevalent Covid-19 really is

Press Releases

The online value of executive education in a Covid-19 world

Executive education courses further develop the skills of leaders in the workplace

Sisa Ntshona urges everyone to stay home, and consider travelling later

Sisa Ntshona has urged everyone to limit their movements in line with government’s request

SAB Zenzele’s special AGM postponed until further notice

An arrangement has been announced for shareholders and retailers to receive a 77.5% cash payout

20th Edition of the National Teaching Awards

Teachers are seldom recognised but they are indispensable to the country's education system

Awards affirm the vital work that teachers do

Government is committed to empowering South Africa’s teachers with skills, knowledge and techniques for a changing world

SAB Zenzele special AGM rescheduled to March 25 2020

New voting arrangements are being made to safeguard the health of shareholders

Dimension Data launches Saturday School in PE

The Gauteng Saturday School has produced a number of success stories